Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Expense Report Software Provides More Efficient Expense Management Solutions

Travel and entertainment expenses are the second largest controllable cost pool at most investment firms, trailing only salaries and benefits. Although these expenses have long been subject to management programs and automation, issues within travel and expense management processes have come under increased scrutiny for several reasons.

The rising cost of business travel makes expense management solutions vital to the solubility of a company. As the price of travel services, including airfare, lodging, and travel agency fees, continue to rise, and a greater number of employees are making more annual business trips, these expenditures are leaching money from investment firms and other large companies of corporate America.

Managing traveling processes has also become a greater hassle. Paper-based procedures always provide their own difficulties. Organizations that continue to rely on paper or spreadsheets instead of expense report software face the exhausting and time-consuming tedium of collecting, approving, and auditing expense reports.

The practice of faking and fudging travel and entertainment expense reports is arguably now an epidemic; everyone knows the stories of corporate abuse. A dearth of appropriate checks and balances and control measures make travel related expenses open to employee fraud. Paper and spreadsheet expense reports are particularly easy to fudge. Additionally these methods are expensive; the average price of manually processing an expense report is over $35; travel agency charges may cost an additional $50 per trip; accumulated over time amongst numerous employees, these costs result in thousands of dollars of accrued fees. These exorbitant prices limit the financial gains such trips may otherwise yield.

Poor spend visibility and a lack of control over reports creates delayed and inaccurate visibility into travel expenses, which should indicate employee compliance with corporate travel policies and adherence to preferred vendor agreements. Without this information, investment firms are unable to properly consolidate t&e expenditures and are thus unable to better negotiate suppliers.

Spreadsheets and paper-based expense reports require long turnaround periods, which are aggravating, stressful, and depressing for employees waiting for reimbursement. And, the delayed or late settlement of expenses incurs late fees and other penalties from credit card companies, etc.

The old expense management approval process is slow and expensive. Typically, the employee must submit all receipts and other relevant forms to the manager who then reviews these documents, verifies authorized expenses and spend limits, and checks for compliance with vendor agreements. The accounting department then receives the materials and enters the important information into the accounting system, files reports and receipts, and issues and mails paper checks. Therefore, the employee must wait a significant amount of time before he is reimbursed.

Traditional methods of expense reporting are outdated and ineffective. As more investment firms realize this, an increasing number are switching to expense report software, which is a reliable and efficient method of expense reporting that benefits both the employee and the company as a whole.

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